Inuyasha is a rather new anime. It began in September 2000. The manga is written by Rumiko Takahashi, the writer of many famous manga, including Ranma 1/2. Inuyasha, while full of comedy and lightheartedness, is also full of serious moments, great battles, and romance! It's the perfect mix for everyone!
Inuyasha is half youkai, half human, or han-you. Youkai are supernatural animal/human combos, and they usually are much more powerful than average humans. Inuyasha's father was an especially powerful youkai, so even though he's only a han-you, he's a match for the average full youkai.
The story centers around the Shikon no Tama, a magical jewel that confers power on whoever holds it. Inuyasha tries to steal it to become a full youkai, but it's protected by a powerful miko, Kikyou. The first episode begins with Inuyasha snatching the Shikon no Tama from a temple, but Kikyou shoots him with an arrow that pins him to a tree. He drops the jewel, and passes out, falling under a spell of slumber. But Kikyou falls down, her shoulder deeply wounded, but before she dies she instructs her younger sister to burn the Shikon no Tama when her body is cremated.
Then we jump to modern day Tokyo. Kagome is a middle school student who lives in a Shinto shrine, where her grandfather is the priest. The shrine is built to honor a very old tree growing near Tokyo. One day she goes into an old building, chasing the family cat. Suddenly, an old, covered wooden well breaks open from the inside, and a monster pulls Kagome in! She falls through the magic well, and comes out of it in a whole new world...or rather, whole new time! Five hundred years in the past, into the world of Inuyasha!
And so the story begins....
As you can see, there are many characters in Inuyasha, and the plot is very involved. The anime follows the manga nearly perfectly, which is good, because Rumiko has a great sense of epic storytelling! If you are a fan of any anime, I would urge you to give Inuyasha a try. It's full of all the things that draw anime fans to the genre, Japanese culture, fighting, epic storylines, magic, drama, and romance! What more could you ask?
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